Compared to previous Nanoleaf panels, Shapes received a design touch-up that reduced the size of the nonilluminated edges, meaning that almost the full surfaces of both hexagons and the new triangles are fully illuminated. The back of Shapes has seen even more changes and improvements. For starters, you put one adhesive sticker in the middle of each panel as opposed to multiple smaller ones around the edges. The middle section even rotates so you don’t have to be as precise when applying them to the wall and they are much easier to take down without damaging the surface. The second thing that makes mounting and dismounting much much easier are the new, less fragile linkers that just snap on and off from each panel, instead of sliding into one like on the previous Nanoleaf panels.
Shapes do take a step back when compared to Canvas panels in that they have an external controller which also needs to attach to one of the panels. The controller, along with the power cable running down from your wall can be somewhat of an eyesore depending on the panel placement and the color of your wall. Like Nanoleaf Canvas, Shapes are touch-sensitive. Not only will they respond to the touch by changing color or increasing brightness, but there are also capable of some basic, games like Memory, Connect 3, and Touch-paint. The touch sensitivity also enables you to use touch gestures like tapping and swiping to turn the panels on or off, increase or reduce brightness and change color scenes.
The Nanoleaf app experience was and still is absolutely great. NFC makes it insanely easy to pair your smartphone to the controller after which there’s an overwhelming amount of different features. These range from creating simple to highly elaborate scenes with multiple colors and touch effects. If you aren’t the creative type, there are a ton of user-made scenes which you can apply to the panels at a touch of a button or even edit them more to your liking. Some scenes make use of the integrated microphone that make the panels act like a music visualizer, turning your room into a literal nightclub.
There’s also the integration with apps like Apple Home, Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Samsung’s Smart Things, Razer’s Chroma, and a few others. Integration also enables you to use things like screen mirror for an immersive experience where the panels will sample and display colors from your connected monitor or TV in real-time, be it from a movie, game, or anything else. Watch our full review to find out all the details.